It has been a tough year all the way around. The economy has been difficult for most of us. The markets have been confusing at best and dangerous at worst. The Orioles suck and the Ravens are going to need a miracle to make the playoffs. My personal life remains God’s personal comedy channel or at least a warning to others. In spite of that at this time of year it is appropriate to count my blessings and they are many.
Lets start with the fact that I am basically living my dream. I work from home, write every day and invest in stocks and bonds for myself and friends. It does not get any better than this. I moved into a larger nicer place and both kids are here with me now. While that is at times a mixed blessing I truthfully like it MOST of the time. I have dodged the worst of the markets and the economy and life is actually pretty damn good for me.
Yes times are tough right now for many in this country. Truth be told they may well get far worse before they get better. That cheerful breed of cutthroats, thugs thieves and outright fucking idiots that ascended to power are clueless. At times it seems like they are trying to screw up the world. It is amazing to me that the focus on politics and appeasing vote and money blocks allows them to totally ignore the long term implications of what they are doing. If they are considering that aspect of their actions than they are criminals and traitors and should be drug by their carefully coiffed hairdo to the gallows and swiftly and brutally executed. I find myself hoping they are just the vote whores and power sniffers I think they are. The alternative is ugly.
But the truth is that this is the US. I cannot believe that we have become so lethargic and sheep like that we will not see through this at some point. I already see the tea parties and feel the rage of many people in this country. People are confused and scared and they are beginning to realize what a buffoon they elected to lead us. This is change you can believe in all right just not for the better. The 1970s decade of clueless leadership and idiotic fiscal policies gave rise to Ronald Reagan ad 20 year boom and I think it will happen again. If it does not then it is our own damn fault for allowing it to happen.
I think we will again become an America where innovation and industry will be rewarded. Hopefully we get back to a point where a house is a home and not a speculation. Whats wrong with saving your money and making a downpayment and having equity in your home. The American Dream is the freedom to live the life you want not owning a fucking ATM machine with indoor plumbing. We need to change the tax code to encourage savings and investment once again, instead of encouraging debt and insatiable spending.
I do not who John Galt is but I think he is out there. The outcome of the incredible fucking mess we are in and are still facing is hopefully a return to a world where small business thrives and grows. If we do realize our mistakes of the past decade and get our country back on track then its worth it. If we do not take the country that way then we deserve whatever we get from the pocket picking assholes on either side of the aisle.
Those who are aware of my market and economic positions wil be surprised to hear me describe myself as an optimist. True I am bearish on the intermediate direction of financial things but on life itself I remain an absolute cock eyed fucking optimist. There is simply too much that is good and true and right about this life not to be. If life is so awful how can we have summer nights and winter mornings? Look at a smiling child and tell me again how horrid life is. Watch an elderly couple strolling hand in hand down the avenue oblivious of the traffic and crowds swirling around me and tell me that this journey is not worth it. It is.
There is so much to be grateful even in a tough year. There are books of course. Books have made my life what it is so far. They are my biggest source of education but of entertainment. Television is for sport and news. I do not see how people can sit in front of the box having someone else life fed to them in thirty minutes slices of idiocy when so much great literature and incredible stories are at hand. Hell, even if you are broke a library card is free. The lessons of the universe and of history are in their pages, as are the stories and epics of the ages. How someone can note read is just a mystery to me. Maybe not a Parker or Christie quality mystery but a mystery none the less.
There is music. Here’s an idea. Instead of taking anti fucking depressants fill your life with Handel, Mozart and Beethoven. Throw out the goddamn pills and turn on Miles and Coltrane to out out the fires raging in your head. Let Oscar Peterson take you off to dreamland and maybe a little rock and roll to get the blood flowing in the morning. Let me see you be a grouch ass in the morning with John Hiaat slamming through slow turning . Can’t be done. Music is the heart of life and the soul of creation in my opinion.
The next area is one I approach warily. There are women. While it is true that I am coming off a breakup of breath taking proportions even by my somewhat spectacular standards I will always be grateful for the women that I have been fortunate enough to have in my life. Yes, they have made me crazy at times and the source of more than one tear (if I cried of course.Everyone knows I am a tough guy and tough guys do not cry). But there have been so many spectacular moments that any pain has been worth the passion and even love. A first kiss, a lovers touch, the moment you know you are falling in love, these and so many others are the reason I will never give up on women. As with Edison and the light bulb I am aware that I can fail many times with explosions and even burns along the ay but I only have to get it right once for the light to work. I remain hopeful that at some point it does and I can be half of that couple walking down the avenue hand in hand oblivious to the crowds and the traffic swirling around them.
To not be grateful for my friends would be to mock at the face of God. I have been blessed with friends that are in my opinion the single greatest group of people I have known. Here on the island people like The Tire guy and his bride The Salon Chick, Tic tac and The Peruvian princess, Crackbaby an his girl the wine pusher are the glue of life. People like GQ and Lamie, The Fishermans Guy and the shacked up freeloader along with baldy and so many others are the ones I laugh with, play with and make life so much more enjoyable. When I think I have set a new standard for a whacked out personal life I need merely hang out with the Porsche driver for a bit and my troubles are greatly reduced in scope!We share the laughs, we share the tears and we love our lives.
Then there are the Spec Friends accumulated over the years. How much have I learned from The irascible curmudgeonly options trader and the rest of the disreputable Chicago crowd over the years? How many late nights and last calls have we all shared over the years? Too much and too many to ever properly count. There are the late night calls with the gin swilling Cheesehead who has become one of my favorite people on the planet over the years. The voodoo prof, the VT fan, the Iranian, the Kentucky colonel,all of these and more have added so much to my life over the years that I could never repay it . My fondest hope is that I have added some measure to theirs.
So yeah, it has been a tough year. But we have and will survive; Life will swirl around us with all the attendant highs and lows. There will be laughs and music to soothe out journey and enhance our path along the way. There will be sunsets of unspeakable beauty and storm of unfathomable strength and we shall pass through them all. There is much to love about life and so much to be thankful for even when times are tough.
So raise a glass my friends in toast to all we have to be grateful and all that makes life so wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving!